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Premier Smith 'wishy washy' on final cost of ports project

- tells media to talk to Minister Vanterpool when asked on cruise project final cost
While much of the infrastructure works at Tortola Pier Park seem to have been finished, there is a large development still left and it seems to have been stagnant for months. This is the area designated for the international restaurant on the site. Since piles were driven late last year there seems to be nothing else happening there. It is suspected that the Ports Authority is awaiting bids to come in so that the facility can be completed to specifications. Photo: VINO
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (right) has directed all questions as to the final cost of the cruise ship development project to his Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool (R4). Photo: VINO/File
Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (right) has directed all questions as to the final cost of the cruise ship development project to his Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool (R4). Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Premier and Minister of Finance Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith has directed all questions on the final cost of the cruise ship development project to his Minister for Communications and Works Honourable Mark H. Vanterpool (R4).

The Premier was on Tuesday May 3, 2016 asked the question on whether the project was still doing completion works and whether the figure given some months ago of $82.9 million was the final figure on the controversial project.

“That is a very difficult matter to answer...I will have to refer that to the Minister for Communications and Works who has total oversight, because the decision has to be made on what next needs to be done or what will not be done...so those decisions will be made by the Ports [Authority] and the Ministry of Communications and Works,” he said.

When pressed as to whether the final figure will be more than the stated $82.9 million, he said that he could not really give a figure nor would he attempt to do so.

“I really cannot make a statement on what it would take to completely wind it up,” he said, referring to the ongoing works at the Tortola Pier Park.

While much of the infrastructure works seem to have been finished, there is a large development still left and it seems to have been stagnant for months. This is the area designated for the international restaurant on the site. Since piles were driven late last year there seems to be nothing else happening there. It is suspected that the Ports Authority is awaiting bids to come in so that the facility can be completed to specifications.

The Minister revealed the cost of the project while giving a ‘Statement by Minister’ on January 25, 2016 during the Sixth Sitting of the First Session of the Third House of Assembly.

He said the total cost of the marine side of the project came up to $36.8 million. He called this phase of the project a major boost to the economy of the Virgin Islands because of the number of vendors and service providers who supplied the project.

In addition, the Minister said the landside development and all its related spending came up to a total of $37 million. He said with the addition of soft and administrative costs the total for the entire project came up to $82.9 million.

12 Responses to “Premier Smith 'wishy washy' on final cost of ports project”

  • me (05/05/2016, 08:19) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    this is another $100 Million dollar project
  • SMH (05/05/2016, 08:19) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    what ever happened to accountability, all we get are more excuses for their failures then a few rush jobs at the end and the good sheeple swallow it up and put them back in
  • wize up (05/05/2016, 08:27) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    this same old story again: wait until the project is complete then question the cost....as far as i can see there is more work to be done on that project; any information now will not reflect the full cost...
    • @ wize up (05/05/2016, 09:18) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
      how much they thief is the question
    • notafan (05/05/2016, 11:50) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
      stop making excuses for bad management, we the people need to be informed regularly of how our "leaders" are spending our tax dollars
  • Political Observer (05/05/2016, 08:36) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Premier Dr. Hon D. Orlando Smith is Minister of Finance so why is answering a question on the projected complete and useable cost on the critical and controversial Tortola Pier Park project such a heavy lift. Dark, gathering and turbulent swerving clouds are hovering over the project. Delegating and empowering staff are effective management tools but they do not relieve CEO, Prime Ministers, Presidents, Chief Ministers or Premiers of the their ultimate responsibility for the performance of agencies. In time of crisis, leaders take charge and take hold of issues. The time is long past for the Premier to have taken hold of the Tortola Pier Park and its raging controversy. The interest of the territory must always take precedence over personal and family interest. Virgin Islanders deserve to know why a capital project ballooned from $35-50M to $82M and counting. In the interest of effective governance, a commission of inquiry (COI) needs to be commissioned. An independent investigation is needed for transparency and accountability. John Duncan how about it.
    • ha (05/05/2016, 11:30) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
      It shows that we have too many senior civil servants in the Complex being overpaid and doing nothing. The Premier needs to make some hard decisions sooner than later because his people are making him look like clueless leader. In HOA he has incorrect and/or dated information, the speeches left much to be desired and it seems as if the staff does as they please and inform him only of things they want to and leave the rest. Our leader should have a capable team surrounding him at all times to ensure that he has accurate, up to date and reliable information on all important matters surrounding the Territory and also provide on demand sensible responses when necessary. Put the blame where it belongs and stop giving these people a free pass for big salary and sure pension on our backs!
  • Nabucanesas (05/05/2016, 10:52) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    John Duncan on vacation. FCO need to recall him. In the UK 100,000 signatures on a petition and the matter must be debated in the House of Parliament. In the Virgin Islands how many signatures we need?? anybody?
  • dog (05/05/2016, 14:49) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    he is the minister of finance. who is driving this bus????
    • wize up (05/05/2016, 16:48) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ dog: have you ever heard about a device call cruise control.... what driver????!!!!
    • voter (05/05/2016, 18:51) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      Sleeping while SS BVI slips under. Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder could see something wrong. When will he call the Anguillian to account?


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